Two weeks ago we were on AllWeb – here is what happened

In today’s age led by the Internet, a digital transformation of the brands is a necessity. This is especially true for the small companies, not just for the larger ones. Adopting digital practices is a matter of survival for those companies because it makes them more efficient and it brings them closer to their end users. Going through digital transformation means going through a cultural transformation as well because digital experience enters all spheres of the company and it changes the way of thinking.

This was this year’s subject of the AllWeb Conference. The speakers demonstrated their ways of marketing in the digital era, and the presentations were more than educating. They presented an ingenious way of thinking – how to bring the brands closer to our audience.

This was this year’s subject of the AllWeb Conference. The speakers demonstrated their ways of marketing in the digital era, and the presentations were more than educating. They presented an ingenious way of thinking – how to bring the brands closer to our audience.

So, who were the speakers and what did they share?

Meet this Year’s AllWeb Conference Speakers!

We met some awesome and inspiring individuals at this year’s conference:

All 11 speakers at AllWeb 2018 on a group photo.

Roger Edwards – Marketing Professional

Roger Edwards – he is an experienced marketing professional from the UK and host of the popular Marketing and Finance podcast. He opened the conference with a strong kick that lasted throughout the whole presentation. Revolving around the importance of having a strategy, it was a great experience to listen to. He shared some personal stories and anecdotes that stirred quite a few laughs. His energy was contagious while he was explaining the importance of the customer. In a nutshell, his notion was that to make your customers stick with your company, you should always obey 3 principles:

  • Assume your client knows nothing
  • Talk in your customer’s language
  • Don’t use industry jargon, management speak mumbo jumbo and gobbledegook

A pretty easy lesson, don’t you say?

Espree Devora – a Community Building Expert!

Espree Devora – or the Girl Who Gets It Done.  This very positive and inspiring girl knows everything about building communities. She created WeAreLATech.com, a community that unites LA Techies, the podcasts "Women in Tech’’ and "Hello Customer’’, and owner of the blog savebusinesstime.com. But, in her experience, it’s essential to first build a sustainable business, and then focus on creating a community.

Espree Devora discussing with another conference visitor, both sitting on chairs.

To create a successful community, we must ask ourselves ‘’How is it offering value?’’. That’s because your community must create a WOW in a person’s life. Also, it is very important for the community to be inclusive of everybody, even those that are not our customers. We should focus on enhancing people’s lives offline and keeping it human. She also shared with us some very helpful tools that will help us make an impression on a person life, such as Simplecast, Mailshake, Unfold, Hootsuite, Buffer, Infusionsoft, Kajabi, Mighty Networks and Facebook Groups.

Dragan Varagic – a Veteran Internet Marketing Professional

Dragan Varagic – he is an internet marketing professional since 1998 who focuses on Business Transformation, e-Business Development and education. Recently, he published his new book Digital Pre-Marketing.

Dragan Varagic at His Conference - AllWeb 2018

He led us through his presentation like a music conductor instructing his orchestra to focus on customer satisfaction even before we make the sales. We make a promise to our customers: with buying our product, they will have an excellent user experience, but often this claim isn’t true. We tend to over-promise but underdeliver, and that doesn’t build trust in the customer.

‘’The devil is in the details’’ – or for greater satisfaction of our customers, we must pay attention to the details.

The companies have a few phases of digital knowledge:

  • The first phase is when they don’t need marketing (Amazon, reklama5)
  • The second phase is when they have a website but don’t understand digital marketing (Sakamigracka.com, Soloprom.com)
  • The third phase is when they are not struggling to survive, but are focused on business growth (Neptun, Time.mk, Femina)
  • And the fourth phase is a digital leader (Top Shop).

As the previous speakers stated, it all about the customers and their digital experience.

Alessandro Angilella – Business Development Director

Alessandro Angilella – he has 20 years of experience in managing complex projects for the online market with a focus on e-commerce. At the moment he is the business development director of Prenatal Retail Group. From this laid back and a positive guy, we saw the future of digital marketing – and that is sharing and renting. He showed many examples of communities that were built on this principle of the sharing economy.

Alessandro Angilella holding his conference with the text "allweb" in the background.

The goal is not the product and price anymore, but the service. Again, we should put the focus on the customers and their needs. He showed a few interesting examples – for instance, Amazon Go and the new shop from Prenatal, where visitors can order online products that they can’t find at the physical store.

Gorjan Jovanovski – a Developer and Team Leader

Gorjan Jovanovski – he was the first Macedonian speaker. He is young but has a great deal of experience. He is the creator of the famous The My Air App (Moj Vozduh) and Technology Team Leader at Booking.com. His take on creating a better customer experience is through A/B Testing. He shared some best practices on how to take the best tests, for example: you should test only one feature to get the best results, the test should be run 2 weeks to overcome an anomaly, don’t retest the same things over until you are satisfied with the results or change the hypothesis after seeing the results.

Gorjan Jovanovski holding a speech at AllWeb 2018 with a projection containing an image of him and his name behind him.

Nedim Sabac – a Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

Nedim Sabac – he’s a senior digital marketing consultant with 16 years of experience who specializes in SEO.

Sabac holding a speech at his conference with a projection with his image and name in the background.

His first question was: What do Google and the visitors have in common? They both have the same expectations to get the answers from your website. To learn how to provide all the answers, you have to think what did the user search before that. This way you’ll analyse their thinking process and you’ll be able to answer the questions and satisfy both your customers and Google. Google loves websites that have all the answers and ranks them higher on its search results. He was a great speaker because he presented a way of thinking, rather than just facts.

Neil Cocker – the CEO of RampTshirts.com

A close-up of a smiling Neil Cocker.

This friendly and smiling face belongs to the CEO of RampTshirts.com, a company that makes custom printed t-shirts – Neil Cocker.

Why is his story so amazing?

Because he created the best and coolest cold email ever. And you wouldn’t believe the simplicity of it!

Let’s start with the subject line: I’m wearing a (your company) t-shirt. A very enticing subject line that just makes you want to click it. This subject line works because it was sent to the company’s email of the employees (no contact or info emails), so it looks like Neil personally sat down and sent the email to that person.

The body of the email was excellent as well. It started friendly: “Nobody likes cold emails, do they?”, to re-live the tension (our defence mechanism reactivates every time we get a cold email, especially the sales-y ones). The email continues in the same friendly fashion – it has a picture of Neil smiling and wearing a t-shirt with the (photo-shopped) company’s logo. A true icebreaker and it builds the trust in the potential customer.

To prove that they are trustworthy, under the picture they’ve put a link to unsubscribe and then the pitch starts. The pitch is short, a few sentences, and it’s backed up by a screenshot of a tweet.

It wasn’t as simple as one might think!

What’s very interesting is that they didn’t come up with this email out of the blue. They tested different versions (placing an attractive person wearing a logo t-shirt, a gif with the same t-shirt) of the image. And although they did receive some success, it didn’t create the WOW effect and it didn’t justify the time and effort they spent creating those emails. So, in order to save time and money, their CTO came up with a system where all they had to do is give it domain names, and it gave them all the company emails (without info or support emails).

They created everything in-house, they had all the solutions to start a campaign. They received lots of positive return emails, people praising them and saying that this is the best cold email they have ever received. Some of the people even sent an image of themselves with a t-shirt with Neil’s image photo-shopped on it. They had negative responses as well, but they were insignificant when compared with the massive flow of emails from delighted people.

It was a marketer’s dream come true.

Many of the people were in and wanted the t-shirt, however, there were lots of emails saying that they loved the idea, but the timing was off. This rang a bell in Neil’s head – they should target the companies before they host or attend an event. And the success was inevitable.

We, as marketers, often forget that we are talking to real people. So, we waste our time crafting complicated strategies and designs that don’t speak to the users. Neil’s story is a great example of how making things simple and friendly can move mountains. Nobody can create the perfect campaign on the first try, so from every effort, we must summarize the positive and the negative aspects of it and implement them next time.

This was the subject that was present through every speaker’s presentation. Keep it simple, take care of the users and optimize your results.

Blaze Arizanov – the Founder and CMO of StayUncle

Blaze Arizanov – he is the founder and CMO of StayUncle, a company from India that offers hotel rooms for unmarried couples. Everybody knows that India is a very traditional country, so you can be sure that StayUncle broke some big taboos. And this is what we should do in marketing – attack the conservatives with a story. This works even better in traditional societies such as ours.

Blaze Arizanov holding a speech while the host is listening, both sitting on chairs.

According to Blaze, the hardest thing in marketing is to address all your users with a unified message, and he did it by making radical ads. With no money for ads, he was pushed in the corner and he had to become creative. That’s when he came up with the idea to advertise the company by depicting the Hindu gods as couples looking for a room. As you can imagine, these ads made quite a stir in Indian society and he even got death threats. But, the results were amazing, the company made a shift in the traditional society and made Blaze a millionaire.

Boris Milosavljevic – a Seasoned Communication Advisor

Boris Milosavljevic – he is a seasoned regional communication advisor with over 30 years of experience. His greatest advice to all of us was to focus on performance marketing because that is the future. That means that marketers will get paid by results, not by time spent on a task. He played very fun stop-motion videos created by The Content Studio, part from his agency Represent Communications. The video is the future of content marketing – we can all agree with that.

Amy Guttman – a Reported for PBS Newshour and BBC

Amy Guttman – the second female speaker, she has worked in network news for more than 20 years and is a regular reporter for PBS Newshour and BBC. Her role was to educate us about the importance of storytelling and how to take advantage of the current conditions and tell the company’s story. She showed a video that she made with a Syrian refugee in Jordan – a classic story, but with a twist. Then, she taught us about what are the main points a story has to have in order to be engaging and viral.

Matt Desmier – Director of Wise Old Uncle

Matt Desmier – he is the Director of the strategic consultancy Wise Old Uncle and is an influential digital champion in the UK. He discussed what is the most important thing about branding in the era of post-truth- and what are the principles. People are not only looking into the purpose of your work but how you are working. He showed a great example of an Edinburg design company that had put an accent on their employees and their time during work.

Matt Desmier holding a speech at his conference with the text AllWeb behind him.

To Wrap Things Up

As a conclusion from this conference, we can agree that when it comes to marketing we need to put the customers on a pedestal and give them a crown. Everything we do should be in their service, to educate them, inform and satisfy their needs. Oh, and, also, keep it simple. Don’t overdo it and complicate, which is something that we, even in our lives, often do.

Overall, it was a great conference, we heard great speakers and we had a great time with the team. We can’t wait to see who will be speaking next year.